This is a busy week for me – as well as all the 'normal' stuff, we're hosting the NZ Biology Olympiad training camp. An Olympiad – what's that, you ask?
Well, I hope some of you asked! The Olympiad movement is a series of international competitions (in Canada last year) – biology, chemistry, physics, maths, geography, computing – that pits top year 13 students from over 50 countries against each other in tests of their content knowledge & their skills in the lab. New Zealand has entered a team for the last 3 years – this is year 4 for us – and each year the students have brought home some medals. It's a heap of hard work but hugely enjoyable for everyone who attends.
Sound interesting? The process starts later this year with an initial selection exam, open to any year 12 Biology student in the country. The top 30-40 from this exam enter a series of tutorials over the summer, which provide the content for the training camp selection exam, held in February. From that exam, 12-15 students go forward to the practical training camp, which is where we are now. And finally we select 4 students to travel to the Olympiad, on the basis of their overall performance in the camp exams (theory & practical).
Still interested? Show the article at this link to your biology teacher (OK, it's for this year's team but the details are the same) & ask them to keep an eye open for advertisements. Or drop me a line via the comments link & I'll put you in touch with the right people!